What’s wrong with Illinois’ current education funding system?
Illinois has the most regressive education funding system in the nation. In our state, students who need the most support get the least resources.
According to a 2015 report of The Education Trust, for every dollar spent to educate students from wealthier districts, only 81 cents are spent on students from poor districts.
Moreover, our funding system results in less than half of all state education dollars going to school districts based on a local district’s ability to pay for local schools. More than half of state education dollars go to districts regardless of their wealth, shortchanging poor districts with students who have greater needs.
What should a new funding system do?
A new approach to education funding in Illinois should reflect some key principles. Funding Illinois’ Future believes an equitable system:
1. Recognizes individual student need
2. Accounts for difference in local resources
3. Closes funding gaps between low-income students and wealthier peers in 5 years and keeps them closed
4. Provides a stable and sustainable solution
Education funding is very complicated. Don’t we need more time to understand everyone’s concerns?
Illinois’ school funding formula has been a decades-old problem and demands immediate change in this session of the General Assembly. The problems with the current state funding system and options for fixing it have been studied for many years, and bills to fix the system have been pending in the General Assembly in recent years. The time is now to fix this broken system. We shouldn’t ask another generation of children to wait for the education they deserve.